Clutch Performers

Ajayi, Stafford lead Week 7 Clutch Performers

New York Giants' Landon Collins, Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford, Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck, San Diego Chargers' Denzel Perryman, and Miami Dolphins' Jay Ajayi each had the strength to come through during a key moment and contribute to wins during Week 7.

Thanks to those strong performances, each player is up for Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week honors. This is a deeper look at the significance of those conquests.

Landon Collins, New York Giants

Strong stats to consider:
» Collins' interception return for a touchdown was the first of his career. It's also his first career game with two INTs.
» The Giants had scored just three points off turnovers this season. Against the Los Angeles Rams, the Giants scored 14 of 17 points off turnovers.

Power of the moment: While Rams' QB Case Keenum doesn't typically light up any marquees, he was coming off the best start of his career and the Giants have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Collins' 2 INTs, including one that lead to the game-winning drive, helped take advantage of Rams miscues. No team that lost in London has finished the season with a winning record.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Strong stats to consider:
» The Lions have become accustomed to winning close games. Every Lions game this season has been decided by 7 or fewer points. They're the only team that can say that in the NFL. Also, each of their last four games have been decided by 3 points or fewer.
» Since Jim Bob Cooter was promoted to offensive coordinator, Stafford has thrown 35 TDs and just 8 INTs. Stafford is on pace to set career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating and TD-INT ratio. This is all without Calvin Johnson.

Power of the moment: Stafford, who set up game-winning drives in the previous two games, was driving again late in the fourth quarter. With just 16 seconds left, Stafford threw to Anquan Boldin to go ahead and beat the Washington Redskins. The Lions are now 4-3 after a 1-3 start.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Strong stats to consider:
» Luck loves playing against Tennessee. His career record against the Titans is now 8-0. It's the longest current winning streak against any team by any active QB.
» In other road games this season, Luck has averaged 227.7 yards per game, a passer rating of 78.2, and threw 4 TDs and 3 INTs. Against the Titans on Sunday, he posted a 123.1 passer rating, and threw 353 yards with 3 TDs and no INTs.

Power of the moment: The Colts rallied and Luck hit Jack Doyle with a go-ahead TD with just 1:55 remaining. The Titans had a chance for a last-minute drive, but Marcus Mariota was strip-sacked and the fumble was returned for an Indy TD. In the Luck era, the Colts are 2-8 in the first two games of the season, but 42-19 in all other games.

Denzel Perryman, San Diego Chargers

Strong stats to consider:
» Perryman recorded 7 tackles, 1 INT and 1 tackle for loss. The INT is the first of his career.
» The Chargers have shown some improvement in pass defense. Weeks 1-3, opposing teams averaged 322 passing yards. Weeks 4-7, that average has dipped to 242 passing yards.

Power of the moment: Perryman stepped up in a big way for the Chargers. His INT not only set up the game-tying field goal, but he also stopped Atlanta Falcons' running back Devonta Freeman on a fourth-and-one. That stop gave the Chargers the ball on Atlanta's 43, and set up the game-winning drive.

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

Strong stats to consider:
» Before Week 6, Ajayi had never rushed for 100 yards. Since then, he's had two consecutive 200 yard games.
» Ajayi is just the fourth player to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games. The other players who share that honor are Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson. Simpson is the only player to accomplish this task twice.

Power of the moment: Largely with Ajayi's legs, the Dolphins were able to overcome an 11-point deficit with roughly 16 minutes left in the game. Ajayi rushed well for them the whole day, including a 53-yard run that came late in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins were pinned at their own 3 and still trailing.

Follow Daniel Williams on Twitter @_danielwilliams.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.